Devon girls ready to defend Irish title

Salthill Devon u-14 girls are on target to defend their title, having qualified for the All Ireland final again this season following an exciting 2-1 win in Listowel.

They now travel to Leinster to play Evergreen from Kilkenny on the weekend of August 7, and look capable of retaining the trophy and bringing another national title to the club.

In Sunday’s semi-final Salthill faced a formidable Kerry who played a high tempo game and successfully pinned Salthill Devon in their own half for the first 15 minutes. Salthill keeper Caoimhe O’Reilly was kept busy, while Caitlin Moloney, Kelly Dunleavy, Emily Naughton and Rebecca Rooney did well to hold Listowel out as Salthill struggled to find their usual rhythm.

However Salthill gradually started to gain a foothold with the midfield of Aoife Walsh, Roisin Jacob, Eavan Lowndes and Sorcha Ni Bhraonain beginning to test the Listowel defence.

In this period Salthill were awarded a free kick 25 yards out and Roisin Jacob struck a sublime shot around the wall and into the top right corner to give Salthill the lead.

The next 10 minutes were all about absorbing the pressure as Listowel, cheered on by a large local following, threw everything forward, and without the heroic efforts of Caitlin Moloney and Caoimhe O’Reilly, they would have equalised.

Instead Salthill maintained their 1- 0 lead going into the second half, in which the midfield, led by Eavan Lowndes, began to dominate. However disaster struck after 10 minutes when the impressive Savanna McCarthy fired an unstoppable 25-yard shot past O'Reilly in the Salthill goal.

The more experienced Salthill Devon players knuckled down and began to play their natural passing game which countered the elements and created several chances. On 55 minutes they were awarded a free from just outside the box and once again Roisin Jacob planted it firmly in the top corner for another memorable score.

Listowel Celtic pressed hard for an equaliser and were awarded a penalty with 10 minutes remaining following a foul on Meagan O'Connor, but McCarthy's shot was brilliantly saved by Caoimhe O'Reilly.

Salthill finished the stronger, creating several chances to kill the game off. Lowndes went close with a glancing header following good work by Melissa McGreene, and Jacob almost completed her hat-trick but her shot came back off the post.


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